Protests at Frankfurt Bookfair:
Regime Change rather than Critical Dialogue
Press Release by the Organizers and Supporters of the
Protest against the Invitation of the Arab League as Guest of Honour at the
Frankfurt Bookfair 2004
The Arab States, which are presenting themselves during
the Frankfurt bookfair, are, without exception, dictatorships, in which
freedom of thought and the freedom of the printed word are being oppressed.
What is being presented as a "dialogue of culture", is in
reality nothing but a one-way / biased communication, since there is no
independent or free literature in the Arab states presenting themselves.
Most of the articles and books are not translated. Thus,
anyone who is not able to understand Arabic cannot understand or assess the
true meaning of the displayed scripts. Therefore, what kind of serious
dialogue could there possibly be?
Almost all of the Arab authors, whose literature has been
translated, live in exile and do not understand themselves as
representatives of the Arab League.
The vast majority of the Arab regimes, which are "guest of
honour" during this year’s bookfair, do not grant their own citizens
There is no freedom of religion. Equal rights for men and
women are rejected. Women who rebel are in danger of being persecuted and
murdered. Minorities do not enjoy any form of protection and – like
homosexuals – are threatened with death.
Non-conforming authors and even their families are
frequently persecuted, jailed, compulsorily divorced, or even threatened
State controlled media praises the destruction of Israel
and the murder of Jews.
Some of the most popular Western scripts in the Arab world
(which have been translated into Arabic), are the fake anti-Semitic
"Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and "Mein Kampf".
The official "guests of honour" at the Frankfurt bookfair
represent the Arab League, whose member countries are anything but
democracies. They are hostile towards women, extremely dangerous for
minorities; they hate Jews and despise Western values.
"Dialogue of culture" needs partners, who are able and
ready for dialogue; partners who can agree on the basic principles of not
only freedom of thinking and writing, but also on the freedom of
individuals, no matter whether female or male, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or
of any other religion, hetero- or homosexual. All these forms of social
co-existence are part of a society which respects human rights.
Assuming that the people responsible for the bookfair are
not sympathizers of Islamist regimes, which have a hostile attitude towards
the West and towards Jews, there is still the question of: Why the Arab
League? Is it possible that these people, like many others in the Western
world, have still not understood, that their signals of dialogue and their
readiness to understand, meet a hermetic, undemocratic Arab wall, hostile
towards Jews and the West?
We point out that the representation of the Arab League
during this year's bookfair is neither "business as usual" nor harmless.
Vice versa, dictatorships, which are anything but
democracies, which are hostile towards Jews and Israel, which despise
non-conformist women and minorities, are given a forum to present
themselves, a forum which they could previously only dream about.
Further Information about planned events is also available
Regime Change rather than Critical Dialogue -
This press release is among others being supported by the
following organisaztions and personalities:
AK Kritische Theorie FH Frankfurt
Annetta Kahane (Amadeu-Antonio-Stiftung / www.amadeu-antonio-stiftung.de)
Antifaschistische Gruppe Gießen (www.antifa-giessen.de)
Arbeitgemeinschaft Antifaschismus an der Universität Potsdam
Arbeitskreis Hilfe für Israel (Pfr.i.R. Winfried Amelung, angeschlossen an:
Offenes sozial-christliches Hilfswerk Bautzen e.V.)
Rolf Behrens (Politologe und freier Journalist)
Bärbel Bohley (Bürgerrechtlerin)
die jüdische (www.juedische.de)
Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft AG Saar (vertreten durch Yoram Ehrlich, 2.
Vorsitzender und Mitglied des Bundespräsidiums der DIG)
DIG Jufos Rhein-Ruhr (www.uni-duisburg.de/jufo)
European Council of WIZO Federations
Prof. Rachel Friedman-Birnbaum M.D.
GERMAN MEDIA WATCH (www.nicht-mit-uns.com)
Gruppe.Internationale.Webteam [GI] (Berlin)
Gruppe Morgenthau Frankfurt (http://morgenthau.afaktion.de)
ISRAEL-Heute e.V. - Christen an der Seite Israels
Jedid Jisrael (www.jedid-jisrael.de)
Jüdischer Jugend- und Studentenverband Hessen (www.jjsh.de)
KLAK - Konferenz Landeskirchlicher Arbeitskreise "Christen und Juden"
Lothar E. Klein (Vorsitzenden der Sächsischen Israelfreunde e.V.)
Mein Israel - Für Israel heute! (www.my-israel.org / www.meinisrael.de)
Pfarrerin Annemarie Werner aus der Vaterunser-Gemeinde (Berlin Wilmersdorf)
Projekt Archiv e.V. (Berlin)
Prozionistische Linke Frankfurt (Hochschulgruppe, Frankfurt)
Ilka Schröder (Ex-MdEP)
Take a Pen (www.take-a-pen.org)
Wadi e.V. (www.wadinet.de)
Zionist Federation of Germany / Zionistische Organisation Deutschland
François Zimeray (Honorary Member of the European Parliament)
Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jerusalem)